Marketplace Missteps: 90% Product Catalog Error


Integrating new marketplaces can be a tough experience. This article chronicles a merchant’s venture into expanding its customer base via Maisons du Monde’s marketplace, an eminent platform in the European home décor sector. Despite owning a successful e-commerce site, the merchant faced a harsh reality check when a poorly prepared product catalog led to almost 90% of the items being rejected on the marketplace.

We shed light on the nuances of marketplace integration and offer practical tips for a successful transition.

[This article is part of our Marketplace Horror Stories Series.]

[Executive Summary]

Key details:

  • Article discusses a merchant’s challenges in integrating with Maisons du Monde marketplace due to an unprepared product catalog causing a 90% item rejection.
  • Main issues: Non-standard images and titles, inadequate translations for international listings.
  • Resolution: Utilized Lengow’s feed management for error correction, automating tasks, and received training for better marketplace integration.
  • Practical tips: Proper translations, establishing early contact with marketplace account managers, careful product selection, and adhering to image standards for successful marketplace integration

Initial situation: false start on marketplaces

The starting point of this “horror story” is quite simple: a merchant specializing in the resale of designer frames and various paintings wanted to diversify its audience and, above all, increase sales. The seller had its own e-commerce website, which was working well. On top of that it decided to launch on marketplaces – where the vast majority of e-shoppers now make their purchases.

The merchant selected Maisons du Monde’s marketplace to start with. Indeed, it seems a wise choice, as the platform is one of Europe’s leaders in home decoration: it caters to a French, Italian, German and Spanish audience of over 7.5 million customers. Every month, Maisons du Monde generates some 10 million unique visitors.

The well-intentioned retailer contacted Maisons du Monde and began publishing its own product catalog via an Excel file he uploaded. But the catalog was not prepared well enough, and almost 90% of the products (!) were found in error on the marketplace, i.e. were not published. 

The biggest errors: images didn’t meet Maisons du Monde standards, titles didn’t meet Maisons du Monde standards and translations for publication in other marketplaces (outside France) were not well enough. Logical consequence: the merchant panicked. How do you rectify this mess and get out of it so that you can finally start selling your products?

Case Study: How marketplace mistakes and errors were corrected

Overall performance improvements

So the merchant looked for help, particularly from feed management solutions for marketplaces. That’s how he came across Lengow. The tool enabled him to correct catalog errors, notably by automating tasks. This automation was crucial, as the merchant, having only a small team, didn’t have the capacity to manage this catalog preparation manually.

Lengow’s support in the early stages of using the solution ensured a smooth start. Parameters were set right away. Errors were corrected, and the merchant now successfully sells his products on Maisons du Monde marketplaces. Afterwards, he attended a training course at Lengow for the integration of future marketplaces.

Zoom: Maisons du Monde Marketplace(s)

Compared with other marketplaces, Maisons du Monde is not the most complex. However, even if you don’t prepare your catalog properly, the result can be a disaster. Here are 4 tips for successfully integrating the Maisons du Monde marketplace:

1/ Translations: If a merchant wants to use the marketplace for several countries, then it’s essential that EVERYTHING is translated into the local language (e.g. title). This is different from other marketplaces. At Maisons du Monde, for example, the word “designer” in French in the title can already lead to an error (as it’s very close to English).

2/ Relationship: It’s essential to establish a relationship with a Maisons du Monde account manager BEFORE embarking on integrating the marketplace. This can help avoid “simple” mistakes.

3/ Product selection: You should also be aware that Maisons du Monde normally accepts no more than 300 products (!) per merchant. Retailers must therefore make a careful selection of the products they wish to sell. You need to know how to narrow down the catalog and work with segments.

4/ Images: Maisons du Monde ALWAYS asks for an initial image of the product on a white background. Prepare this type of visual beforehand, and it won’t be a stumbling block later on.

Start Selling on Maisons du Monde

Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is a tech and e-commerce enthusiast. He initially worked for an international PR agency in Paris for large tech companies before joining Lengow's international field marketing & content team.

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